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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 30th April 2005, 01:49 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Wan Chai
Talking The Ariel as never seen before (incorporating Stig Erik Tangens Almighty subwoofers)

Having seen the enormous interest for the Ariel I thought it was time that I gave back some to the DIY community. I first read about the Ariel back in 1998 and I was rather impressed with the thought going into the whole project. Lynn Olsen’s philosophy also appealed to me regarding what Hifi is all about.
What I did not find appealing however was the bass performance of the Ariel, Lynn Olsen recognises this and offers some advice on improved bass performance using scan-speak speaker elements. On his website he also suggests the Almighty Subwoofer for people demanding the best. The Almighty uses a $600 15-inch JBL Pro element.
This really set me off thinking, which ultimately resulted in my “Petit Filou” Loudspeaker.
I like large speakers and I also like speakers that are visual statements, Jamo’s Oriel and Dynaudios Evidence are probably the most beautiful speakers out there. There are some obvious similarities between Dynaudio top of the line speaker and the Petit Filou, I don’t think you can regard it as a copy, visual inspiration would probably be more appropriate.
My Petit Filou speaker incorporates the Ariel ME2 and the Almighty subwoofer into one 200kg box. However for convenience reasons I have chosen to divide the box into segments. The problem is that the subwoofer requires a 220 litre box; this does get problematic when you chose to make the speaker no wider than 30 centimetres.
Also the width of the baffle in conjunction with a tweeter mounted in the centre, gave rise to some nasty diffraction phenomena. I hence chose to make the box in which the tweeter was mounted more organic in shape, thus minimizing diffraction problems.
If there is interest out there in this project, please let me know and I will write a more extensive column on the project.
The images included show the speaker without the JBL drivers mounted.

Active Filter

The Almighty Subwoofer


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Old 30th April 2005, 02:49 PM   #2
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Location: Plymouth
I was a little shocked to see that you live in the UK as initially it looked like a barmy Yank design to fill a ranch with music! (no offense to you or our time-delayed friends of course).

I find the subwoofer most intriguing, I've never tried designing one but employing a woofer with an Fs of 40Hz seemed like an odd choice for getting bass to 20Hz. It just goes to show how much I DON'T know about sub design.

The look you have gone for does indeed manage to make the speaker rather discreet and svelte like the Dynaudio behemoth. As I tried telling my mother as kid, she didn't need to get rid of my dad's gutsy B&W speakers just because they were big, black, ugly boxes. Black blends into any room and is actually quite unobtrusive IMHO. She went ahead and fell in love with the silver slimline 'BBC mike' B&W VM1 wall-mount speakers anyway, and the twin 10" woofer sealed-box maestros that were my audio education still reside in the loft back home.

Still, I digress. One thing I've got to ask you! About your Ariel baffles, what are the two small holes outside each woofer? They seem too small (and too sealed!) to be ports, yet too large to allow recessed fixings or grille mount holes etc. I'm curious.

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Old 30th April 2005, 03:54 PM   #3
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Tweeter isn't flush mounted?
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Old 30th April 2005, 04:51 PM   #4
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Location: Wan Chai
Default Vifa midrange etc...

Hi there!

Yes these small holes are the ports, the vifa midrange is tuned to 74Hz. The internal box volume for each element is 5.15 litre. The vents are 2.55 cm in diameter and 3.6 cm long.

Regarding the size of the speakers, with a love for music I don't really see to many obstacles for not having large loudspeaker. If I were a pianist, would I go for a small keyboard in my home, or would I chose a Steinway. The answer is of course obvious. However using 15-inch subs does require a large room and in all honesty my current bedroom is much too small.

The elements are currently flushmounted
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Old 30th April 2005, 05:27 PM   #5
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Default Furthermore

Regarding the Baffles,

The ports for the Vifa midrange has not yet been varnished as the rest of the baffle, hence they look very bright on the first image, and they can appear to be sealed.

I am currently buying the Behringer DCX2496 crossovers. Does any people have any opinions on this crossover? Are there other brands I should check out?
The subs and the mids are crossing over at 80Hz. The subs uses a filter with a 24db slope while the mids are doing ok with a 12db slope as they fall off around 80Hz anyways.
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Old 30th April 2005, 05:41 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Puget Sound
I'm currently shopping for a crossover for my new project. dbx Driverack comes highly recommneded but has no digital input. My favorite so far is the Rane RPM26z which has a digitial input and an easy to implement volume control.

Search the archives for "DCX2496" and you should find plenty of data.
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Old 30th April 2005, 05:48 PM   #7
Did it Himself
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Location: Gloucestershire, England, UK
Looks like somebody had many hours ahead of them with a chisel and sandpaper on those real wood baffle faces!
www.readresearch.co.uk my website for UK diy audio people - designs, PCBs, kits and more.
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Old 30th April 2005, 06:25 PM   #8
Variac is offline Variac  United States
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A real Tour d' force ! And a good idea to combine the Arial and the Allmighty! I agree, big sleakers make a statement , and these DO make a statement. Probably sound mighty good too!
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Old 30th April 2005, 07:51 PM   #9
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Mounting a subwoofer on the side will inevitably cause problems with time delays. However, as you all know the human ear isn't particularly sensitive when it comes to placing low bass sounds. There are normally no problems with sidemounted woofers up to around 150Hz. Just to be on the safe side the crossover was set to a very low 80Hz.

The frequency range of the speaker is 20Hz - 30kHz (+/- 3dB.)
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Old 30th April 2005, 07:51 PM   #10
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Default Shaping the Baffles

Originally posted by richie00boy
Looks like somebody had many hours ahead of them with a chisel and sandpaper on those real wood baffle faces!

All in all the both baffles took a total of 12 hours work. I did not use a chisel. Since it can easily crack the wood. The baffle is made of laminated scandinavian brichwood (I actually bought them in my native in northern sweden). So after carrying them back to the UK I really did not want to take any chances.
The tool I used to shape them was a Dremel MultiPro.

I began by using a highspeed cutter . All the work was done very carefully in order to avoid cutting too deep.

Once the rough cutting was done I sanded the surface with a Sanding Drum.

The image posted show one of the baffles after sanded with the sanding drum.

I finally took a belt-sander and fine sanded the baffles, the result I believe speaks for itself.
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